Winter Safety Tips For Dog Owners
Brrr!! It’s getting cold outside and with the snow, sleet, ice, and wind, there’s a lot to prepare for when it comes to winter weather.
We all have that instant moment of shock when our bodies hit the 10-degree weather. Just like we’re affected by the cold, our dogs are too. Here are a few tips to help you keep your dog safe this winter.
1) Bundle Up:
Despite the popular misconception, fur alone is not enough to protect dogs from the elements. Picture it as if we were to go out in a blizzard in a light jacket. It’s important to make sure that small and short-haired dogs (even large ones) have the appropriate winter wardrobe.
Now’s the perfect time to get that cute dog sweater or jacket to help provide the right layers.
2) Protect The Paws:
Just like putting on an adorable sweater, you’ll want to consider putting on dog boots or paw protectors to keep your pet’s feet safe. Having these ready to go will be especially helpful when icy conditions are present.
3) Limit Time Outside:
Dogs can suffer from frostbite or hypothermia if they are outside in cold weather too long. In the extreme cold, it’s not a bad idea to keep dogs inside but if this isn’t possible, be aware of the major signs of frostbite, which can show when skin appears white or blue.
4) Clean Your Dog’s Feet:
The sidewalks and roads are coated with deicing chemicals such as sodium chloride (rock salt) and calcium chloride. With shoes on, pedestrians are safe but this can damage paw pads.
When returning inside, make sure to wash off your dog’s feet with warm water while reaching spots between the toes and pads. Depending on the dog, moisturizer may also be needed.
5) Talk To Your Vet About Cold Weather Protection:
It’s possible for some medical conditions to worsen as it gets colder out. One condition that is especially sensitive to the cold weather is arthritis because of the direct effect of the cold and increased stiffness.
Having a checkup can help ensure that problems don’t worsen when the temperatures continue to drop. You can also ask any questions regarding winter care for your dog.